Andon and Kumiko-the Journey Continues-2

The goal for this most recent andon lamp was to create a stand that would essentially turn it into a floor lamp. I went through several iterations on paper and finally concluded that my best option would be to create a stand from which the andon would be hung. A chance trip up into the “magic attic” served to further focus my efforts.


For those unfamiliar with my “magic attic” complete a search of my blog for references to it. The short version is that the attic of my home is filled with things left behind be the previous owner. The bulk of which is wood.

In my attic I discovered an 8ft length of bamboo. Seemed like a sign, so I went with it.

I had no real plan, but figured I would start at the ground and work my way up. The base is a simple affair. Two bits of SYP joined with a half-lap and a little shaping.

To install the bamboo pole into the base I drilled a hole. Then tapered the hole slightly with a reamer and whittled the bamboo to fit. I adjusted the fit so a node on the bamboo would bottom out into the top of the tapered hole. I was going to add glue, but it wedged in so tight with the final fit that I saw no need for glue and was afraid of damaging the bamboo if I tried to remove it.

How to fashion a hanger perpendicular to the bamboo pole was a head scratcher. After a bit of trial and error, I hit upon an arrangement of two boards with cross pins.

The two pins at the rear serve to lock the boards onto the pole when downward pressure is applied to the boards. The more pressure, the stronger the lock. The third pin simply serves to maintain the spacing between the two boards. I could have just glued the assembly together but chose to add a few holes and lash the assembly together around the bamboo pole. It came together well and is very secure.

I then papered the lamp and added a cord to hang it with. The original plan was to run the electrical cord down through the bamboo pole, but I couldn’t come up with a way to either knock out or drill through the internal nodes. So I just strung the cord down the back of the pole and called it done.

After a couple of days the exposed cord had driven me to the point of madness and necessity became a mother. I had a length of stiff wire left over from my pole lathe build and I decided to try to fashion it into a makeshift drill bit. I hammered one end into a crude spade bit shape and installed the other end into my cordless drill driver.

I’ll be damned, it worked! A little awkward at the start, but in just a few minutes I had drilled through all of the nodes and was snaking the electrical cord down through the bamboo pole. I think the lamp looks much better with the now hidden wire.

Now I can comfortably call this one complete!

I also have been working on illustrations for the small andon and diamond kumiko infill. Hope that some of you might find them useful.

Part 1 Greg Merritt

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Andon and Kumiko-the Journey Continues

Management has informed me that the little andon would make good Christmas gifts for this year and that I should get busy making several. Fine with me. At least I have plenty of notice this time and the extra time means I can do a little further experimentation.

Since this will be somewhat of a production run, I took a hard look at how to economize the materials. I found that, by adjusting the size slightly, the width of a standard small Continue reading

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Ad Hoc Little Andon

Upon the completion of my first to andon projects I realized that I had enough bits and pieces left over to maybe, possibly build a smaller version. Plus, I have been bitten by the kumiko bug and wanted to try a couple of additional ideas on that front. So I jumped right in and milled up the remaining stock that I had for the outer frames and worked out the size of this andon based on that availability. Continue reading

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HB Andon (Shoji) Lamp

One thing that I am doing as I update old drawings is to review my sketch books for ideas that never made it off the page.  One such idea was for a Japanese style lamp (andon).  Originally, the andon was a lantern consisting of a washi (paper) covered wooden frame which was lite with either a candle or oil lamp. Continue reading

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Mini Three Drawer Chest

As I update old drawings, I will post those that I hope you will find useful.  Some may be new versions of those that you have seen before.  Others will be making a first time appearance here on the blog. Continue reading

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Japanese Bookbinding-Part 3-Work Board-Complete

At the end of my last post I had readied the field portion of the work board, replete with the required tongues for the breadboard ends.

Knowing that work on this project would be stretched over a week or so and given the crazy weather swings as of late, I wanted to get the clamp portion of the breadboard ends completed as quickly as possible. Even if not fully fitted, I could install the clamp boards onto the tongues at the end of each work session and mitigate any cupping of the field board between sessions. Continue reading

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Japanese Bookbinding-Part 2-Work Board

Japanese bookbinding requires a very minimal tool set, but, as I stated in my last post, there are a few specialty items that make the process a little easier.  My focus is now is on the work surface.

Any solid surface will suffice, but a dedicated work surface is always a plus.  In this case it needs to be flat and of a material that will not damage the tip of the awl as I drive it through the stacks of paper.   Continue reading

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